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Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

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  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

    Hi guys, I hope someone can help, although I think this is more a chemistry query!

    I have been taking Omeprazole capsules (20mg) for some time, and renewed my script last weekend. The capsules that were dispensed had the gastro resistant tablets inside them (the pharmacist phoned the manufacturer, and apparently they are allowed to do this). This led to me reading the ingredients listing on the PIL, and I noticed that one of the "inactive ingredients" was Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.

    I have a sensitivity to SLS in toothpaste (causing ulcers), soap (dermatitis) etc, and had noticed that my stomach problems had been flaring up this week. Nothing stressful has happened, no change to diet, nothing I can think of to trigger it until I saw the SLS. I dug out the old PIL from my recycling bag, and SLS was not mentioned. I've not had problems with this med before, but then I don't remember ever having it from this manufacturer before.

    What's got me stumped is why would a drug manufacturer put a chemical which is a surfactant (and known irritant) in a proton-pump inhibitor? From what I can understand, SLS is mostly used as a foaming and thickening agent, and I can't understand what benefits it has in pharmaceuticals. Unfortunately, the only research I can find online is a dubious link to it being carcenogenic, which has been refuted by the American Cancer Society anyway.

    In the meantime, I've got my GP to write me a new script, and I'm going to see if a different pharmacy has a different brand. Of course, I'm aware this could all be coincidental, but the whole thing is intriguing me.

    thanks in advance

  • #2
    Re: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

    As SLS is a surfactant, should aid penetration of the tablet and aid dissolution.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Re: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

      Originally posted by domino View Post
      I'm going to see if a different pharmacy has a different brand.
      See if the same pharmacy has a different brand - then your records remain in the same place.

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Re: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

        Thanks, guys

        johnep - the opemprazole is a timed release med, so I can't see how aiding dissolution would be an asset.

        Jeff
        - I'm not registered with any particular pharmacy, I get my script, and fill it where ever is convenient. I did ask at the original pharmacy if the brand could be changed, and was told that "they get whatever brand is sent to them"

        Since I posted, I've got the new script, and have an SLS free version of Omeprazole. In the last week, my stomach has calmed down considerably. I accept that it *could* be psychosomatic, but given my history with SLS, I'm inclined to think not.

        I've decided to email the manufacturer and see what they say, too.

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        • #5
          Re: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

          Domino, Jeff didn't mean that you should register with a pharmacy that doesn't happen but it is better for the patient if they can get all of their meds from the same pharmacy in case of an error with a script.

          If the Dr is unaware of an interaction in your meds, if you go to the same pharmacy for all of your scripts it is likely to be picked up by the pharmacy staff.

          If you get your scripts from several pharmacies then it is less likely to be caught.
          Linnear MRPharmS

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          • #6
            Re: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in medicines?

            Originally posted by Linnear View Post
            Domino, Jeff didn't mean that you should register with a pharmacy that doesn't happen but it is better for the patient if they can get all of their meds from the same pharmacy in case of an error with a script.

            If the Dr is unaware of an interaction in your meds, if you go to the same pharmacy for all of your scripts it is likely to be picked up by the pharmacy staff.

            If you get your scripts from several pharmacies then it is less likely to be caught.
            Domino : If you stick to one or two pharmacies they could add a patient note to check for SLS in the excipient listing. If you decided to stick to one pharmacy - pick the one that will keep your preferred manufacturer. Give them a call a day or two before your script is due. The important thing is to get a good rapport going with the pharmacy staff and help them to help you.
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